1705764284 Mogul skiing Canadians silence their critics as four men finish

Mogul skiing: Canadians silence their critics as four men finish in the top 10 of the overall World Cup standings

SAINT-COME | Canada was the dominant nation in moguls on the international stage for several years, but has lost its presence and many critics have lamented a lack of succession among men in recent years.

In a blistering column published a few days before the Tremblant World Championships in January 2022 titled “Canadian Mogul Ski Adrift,” former B2dix employee, coach and co-founder Dominick Gauthier wrote that the Canadian men's team can be traced back to Mikaël Kingsbury .

Kingsbury's teammates had swallowed the pill incorrectly. However, this year we see a spectacular reversal of the situation as we find four Canadians in the top 10 of the cumulative rankings. Unlike alpine skiing, there is no trophy for this achievement, although Canada currently occupies first place in the national rankings.

Four Canadians in the top 10

If Kingsbury is, as usual, at the top of the rankings before the home game in Val Saint-Côme, which takes place in the evening on Friday and Saturday evening, Julien Viel, Louis-David Chalifoux and Elliot Vaillancourt are in 7th, 8th and 10th place. positions.

“The criticism wasn’t so much directed at me,” said Vaillancourt. I'm not here to prove anything, but it shows they were wrong. I needed more time to develop. This year’s results reflect a lot of learning.”

“I heard the criticism, but we proved ourselves right by placing four guys in the top 10,” adds Julien Viel. We are capable of doing it even better. We have one of the strongest teams and we are improving as a group. We have become closer together as a group and that makes us stronger.”

First career podium

Vaillancourt achieved his first podium finish on December 15 in Alpe d'Huez, winning silver. “Sitting on the lead bench until Mik beat me, I felt happiness on another level,” he said. I have eliminated distractions, I have more control and my skiing continues to improve.”

Despite being on the podium for the first time this year, the 24-year-old hard worker believes a turning point occurred here in Val Saint-Côme a year ago. “I reached the individual final for the first time in my career and it took a big weight off my shoulders. Skiing became enjoyable again and the flame returned. Things have been going well since then and I’m more confident.”

Pleasure rediscovered

Author of his best career performance with a 5th place finish in Bakurani in Georgia in December, Much like Vaillancourt has rediscovered the joy of skiing. “Last year I felt the pressure of not achieving the results I expected and had a good memory over the holidays [en 2022], he said. I'm a skier first and foremost and I want to have fun instead of just thinking about results. This consideration was useful as I reached my first career final upon my return to Val Saint-Côme. The experience I gained last year in my first full season in the World Cup was the trigger.”

Mogul skiing: Canadians silence their critics as four men finish in the top 10 of the overall World Cup standings

Photo Didier Debusschere

First full season

In his first full World Cup season, Chalifoux left no time and left his mark. As the author of four top 10 placements, he notably achieved fourth place in the parallel Mogul race on December 16th in Alpe d'Huez. “These results gave me a lot of self-confidence,” said the 21-year-old hard worker. There is a good gap between the [Coupe] Nor-Am and the World Cup. The most difficult thing is a duel. The intensity is very high and you have to be perfect from the first lap, unlike the Nor-Am where you get through despite making mistakes.”

A very proud coach

If the young people are happy with this development, so is the head coach of the Canadian team, Michel Hamelin, who, however, assures that he is not surprised. “I knew it and I’m glad it worked. I am very, very proud. We have reached a low point. We've worked hard over the last few years, but it didn't show in the results. The fight for the 2026 Olympics will be very tough.”